Realism, Objectivity, and Evaluation

In David Kaspar (ed.), Explorations in Ethics (forthcoming)
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Abstract

I discuss Benacerraf's epistemological challenge for realism about areas like mathematics, metalogic, and modality, and describe the pluralist response to it. I explain why normative pluralism is peculiarly unsatisfactory, and use this explanation to formulate a radicalization of Moore's Open Question Argument. According to the argument, the facts -- even the normative facts -- fail to settle the practical questions at the center of our normative lives. One lesson is that the concepts of realism and objectivity, which are widely identified, are actually in tension.

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Justin Clarke-Doane
Columbia University

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